Box office photo finish

Monday, September 24, 2012    

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LOS ANGELES, USA (AP) — Hollywood is in photo-finish mode with three new movies bunched up tightly for the number one spot during a sleepy weekend at the box office.

Studio estimates yesterday put two movies in a tie for first-place with US$13 million each: Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena's police story End of Watch and Jennifer Lawrence's horror flick House at the End of the Street.

And right in the same ballpark was Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams' baseball tale Trouble with the Curve, which opened with US$12.7 million.

Actual rankings will be determined today as studios release final numbers for the weekend.

No matter which movie comes out on top, it was another slow weekend for Hollywood, whose business has been sluggish throughout late summer. Revenues were down for the fourth-straight weekend, with all three of the top new movies opening to modest crowds.

"This was a clash of the non-titans," said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "When three films are duking it out for the top spot with only around US$13 million, that doesn't represent a very strong period at the box office."

Overall domestic revenues totalled $88 million, down 25 per cent from the same weekend last year, when a 3-D re-release of The Lion King led with US$21.9 million, according to Hollywood.com.



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